Living with Others

Living in residence means that you will be living in a diverse community where you will have the opportunity to meet new people and have some really great new experiences. In community, there are many benefits that come from living in this environment. Living in a community provides a sense of belonging and social support that you may not otherwise get living off-campus. In residence you can rely on your neighbours for help, advice, and companionship; there can be a sense of safety and security as there are many people having ownership over the shared space. Living with a diverse population can also provide opportunities to learn about different cultures and perspectives. Lastly, living in a community grants a sense of purpose that you are part of a community here at York—by living here, you are contributing to the community though your involvement!

Strategies for Successful Community Living

Here are some tips to be successful in this environment that we recommend:

  1. Communicate: Communication is key to living together respectfully. Be open and honest with your housemates about your needs and expectations and listen to their needs and expectations as well.
  2. Set boundaries: Discuss boundaries with your housemates, such as quiet hours, cleaning responsibilities, and other rules that you all agree on.
  3. Be considerate: Be considerate of needs and feelings. Keep noise levels down during quiet hours, clean up after yourself, and respect each other's privacy.
  4. Address conflicts: If conflicts arise, address them calmly and respectfully. Try to find a compromise that works for everyone.
  5. Respect differences: Everyone is different, and it's important to respect each other's differences. Be open to learning about different cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles./li>
  6. Be proactive: Take proactive steps to prevent conflicts, such as setting up a cleaning schedule or discussing roommate expectations before moving in.

By following these strategies, you can create a respectful and harmonious living environment within your residence.

Navigating Conflict

When living with others, there are times when you may have a different perspective or preference for how to live together; it is a natural experience when people come together to live in a community. As such, sometimes you may experience conflict with your roommate or suitemate. When you find yourself experiencing frustration or a difference of opinions or living styles with someone, it is important that you don’t let those issues build up; address any points of tension early on to prevent conflict from escalating. Your Roommate/Suitemate Agreement is a helpful tool for having these conversations, and you can revise it as needed to ensure you and your roommate/suitemate are able to live successfully with one another.

In the event that conflict escalates, your Don is available to assist you. Dons are trained in conflict mediation and are able to support you through a facilitated dialogue with your roommate/suitemate to ensure that you can move forward productively. It is important to know that while your Don will assist you in working through conflicts, your Don cannot solve them for you; you and your roommate/suitemate are responsible for engaging with one another respectfully and reaching appropriate agreements.

One of the benefits of living in residence is developing the skills to navigate conflict and different living styles with compassion and empathy. Resolving roommate/suitemate conflict amicably is a testament to your growth. If you are looking for additional support and learning relating to conflict mediation, the Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) has a team of students who provide peer support. These trained students can assist you with tips and suggestions for resolving conflicts, including mediating conflict.